In my office, our breakroom overlooks Suntrust Park, home of the Atlanta Braves (that’s our view, above). With all the excitement next door, it isn’t uncommon for me to have baseball on the brain while I enjoy my lunch, and today is no different … especially since it’s opening day! With the Braves season kicking off, it got me thinking about the commonalities between America’s favorite pastime and hosting a live webinar.
Here are some tips and tricks for knocking your webinars out of the park!
Practice makes perfect – Just like baseball teams have spring training to get ready for their season, you and your speakers need to adequately prepare for the webinar. Make sure your presenters have talking points assembled, without writing down every word, so they don’t sound too scripted. Schedule a prep session to get them comfortable with the technology. If you have multiple presenters, confirm they are all on the same page regarding how the presentation will flow, who will be speaking when and how they will be moderating questions. Starting your webinar preparations a few months ahead of time and keeping your presenters to a strict schedule will undoubtedly lead to a great event!
It takes a team – Each member of a baseball team is crucial to a successful season. No one player can win the game, everyone must do their part and carry their weight. Organizing a webinar can be a lot of work and as a busy continuing education professional, going it alone can be very overwhelming. Find a webinar vendor with supporting services, so you can rely on your teammates. A full-service webinar provider can provide speaker training, moderation, end-user support, and the systems to make hosting a webinar easier than ever.
Make a great pitch – A team can’t win a game without good pitching. Take a page from baseball’s book and use your webinars as an opportunity to “pitch” marketing materials to your audience. Use rotating slides prior to your event to promote upcoming webinars or other organizational advertisements. Market yourself or your sponsor on your registration page or in the webinar interface. Incorporate custom branding with an I-frame of your website within your webinar layout.
Keep the crowd in the game – We have all been to those games that seem to drag on and on with one boring inning after another. The crowd starts to lose focus until someone walks up to the plate and hits a homerun out of the park. Suddenly, everyone is on their feet and ready to rally. Keeping the crowd engaged is important for your webinars, as well. With a remote audience you must try harder to keep the connection going than if you were speaking right in front of them. Incorporate interactive elements into the webinar to keep the audience’s attention. Sprinkle polls throughout the webinar to get learners’ feedback or test their knowledge. Add a chat, so attendees can discuss the content amongst themselves. Host a Q&A period to allow for direct interaction with the speaker.
Offer season tickets – All teams offer season tickets, so the most dedicated fans can take advantage of a bundled pricing option. You should offer your webinar fans discounted choices, as well. Promote a webinar coupled with the archive, so your customers can attend live and review the content later at their leisure. If you schedule your webinars in advance, offer a complete webinar package that gives the customers all the events with one purchase. You can also sell a create-your-own-bundle, where learners pick and choose the events they want to attend.
With this advice, you’ll never strike out with your webinars. For more coaching check out our Complete Guide to Webinar Planning.